Thursday, 28 December 2017

Je suis Charlie, Plus que Jamais

(I am Charlie, more than ever) If you read this blog I guess you know I love Charlie Hebdo. Those who have never read it will think about it as an irreverent assemblement of cartoons, for me, much above that, they are an amazing set of editorials, interviews, research reports and columns, one of the few remaining works of real jounalism. I won't say that I always fully agree with their cartoons (for sure I 100% subscribe all those critizising religions, but some of those that deal with dead or sickness are sometimes not to my taste), but all in all Charlie Hebdo represents for me Resistence, resistence to the Islamisation of Europe and to the rise of other far-right movements, and the resistence to abandon our believes in an inclusive, multicolor and open society.

This year I can think of at least 3 editorials by Riss that have been just extraordinary, the one about the Islamist attack in Barcelona (that came with the outstanding "Islam, religion of peace... eternal" cover), the one attacking the separatist maphia in Catalonia, and the one before the second round of the French presidential elections. Regarding the cartoons, one of my favorites was a small one about the Islamist attack in Marseille (unfortunately I can not find it now), and for sure I loved the ones about the Tariq Ramadan pig.

I found bad tasted the cover right before the dead of Johnny Halladay. I have a particular respect for illness, so I don't like joking about it. On the other hand, after Johnny's death Riss wrote something really beautiful. He reflected on how Charlie had never been particularly kind to Johnny (I have no opinion on this guy, so I can not say how much criticism he deserved), but anyway, after the Charlie Hebdo massacre Johnny decided not just to be Charlie, but also singing in the hommage. As Riss said, he really didn't have to do it, but he decided to do so, and for that they appreciate it.

There's one weekly column that is sometimes amazingly good. It's written by Philippe Lanconn, who has such a beautiful way to write about life, death, the passage of time and its effects on us. This journalist survived the attack but was badly hurt. His jaw got basically destroyed and he has undergone multiple surgeries after that (and the healing process has not finished yet at all). His columns talk very often about it, about the pain, about the recovery, about how that day changed his life in so many ways (not just for the physical effect of his injuries, but for the moral effect of the lives that were stolen that day), other times he talks about completely different topics. There was one column after Fidel Castro's death that absolutely impressed me, "the third Death of Fidel Castro". Basically this was the third time Philippe was writing an article about Castro's death, as he had already been asked to write articles in 2 previous occasions years ago, when Castro was just about to die. From his articles this year there are 2 closing sentences that I think will remain with me for the years to come.
One of them said something like (I'm in Asturies, so I don't have the magazine with me) "You feel young when there are others that depend on you, you realise that you've got old when now it's you who depends on others".
The other one closed his column from last week, where he talked about the death of Johnny Halladay, and is such a beautiful statement on how some things can bring back memories and parts of our lives that seemed so far away "Une chanson, quoi qu'elle vaille, reveille des morts qu'on a en soi" (One song, whatever it's worth, wakes up the dead that we have inside).

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